Couple celebrates 35 years by registering as domestic partners - FOX 13 News

Couple celebrates 35 years by registering as domestic partners

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

There was a milestone celebration at Tampa's City Hall Monday: a couple marked 35 years together by putting their names in the domestic partnership registry.

You might recognize Carrie West's name -- he was a candidate for Tampa City Council a couple of years ago.

He and his partner, Mark Bias, wanted to take advantage of Tampa's domestic partnership registry to mark their 35th anniversary.

They had a ceremony in the Tampa clerk's office to mark the occasion.

West and Bias wanted to spread the word about Tampa's domestic partnership registry.

They stress it's not just for gay partners, but also heterosexual couples who are not married, to give them equal rights to health care, education and funeral decisions.

"We support people of the city of Tampa coming down to the clerk's office and doing a domestic partnership registry. I think there will be thousands coming shortly down here because it is an opportunity for health care and hospitalization care and also recognizing a partner, even for 35 years," West said.

The couple was critical of Hillsborough County, which shot down a domestic partnership registry last week. They believe Hillsborough commissioners will eventually come around.

In addition to Tampa, Pinellas County recently approved a domestic partnership registry.

Prior to that, the cities of St. Petersburg, Gulfport, Clearwater and Sarasota had adopted one.

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